For Educators - Making <em>Lure of the Labyrinth</em> Part of Your Classroom Culture

Digital Games in the Classroom

Making Lure of the Labyrinth Part of Your Classroom Culture

The vast majority of your students almost certainly have experience playing digital games. But they likely have very little experience using games as learning tools.

When students play Lure of the Labyrinth, they'll be working with a game whose intent is to help them think like mathematicians. It probably goes without saying that there aren't a lot of other games like that out there. So your students are going to look to you for some context around this new thing - Lure of the Labyrinth. How you position the game in your classroom culture will have a huge impact on your students, both in terms of how they think about Lure of the Labyrinth and how they use and benefit
from it.

Cutting to the chase ...

Get the Flash Player to watch this video.

Your main goal around making Lure of the Labyrinth a part of your classroom culture should be for the game to become a basic part of your math instruction. It should not be treated as a special resource or as a reward. Instead, Lure of the Labyrinth should be treated as simply another learning tool that can help students.

This approach will help embed the game in the natural rhythm of teaching and learning in your classroom. And it's especially important with Lure of the Labyrinth because a good deal of students' experience with the game is likely to happen outside your classroom (learn more here). So even though we believe that, on one level, kids will be excited about playing Lure of the Labyrinth just because it's a cool game, you'll also want to do everything you can to keep your students' enthusiasm for the game high enough to extend beyond the walls of your classroom.

 "It all has to go back to keeping the students engaged." - Erin Baull, Advance Team Teacher 

Elsewhere in these materials, we discuss how playing Lure of the Labyrinth is a little like stretching and doing calisthenics before a big race - the game is intended to build students' intellectual muscle around your pre-algebra content. And as with any kind of exercise, the more you do, the fitter you become. Your students will benefit the most from Lure of the Labyrinth if they play it early and often during the school year. And the chances that they'll do that will greatly increase if they feel like Lure of the Labyrinth is an integral part of your classroom culture.

So how do you actually do it?

All right. What are some steps you can take to make Lure of the Labyrinth a part of your classroom culture? Here are a few ideas:
  • When you're doing long-range planning, make a conscious effort to introduce your students to the game early and to keep them involved with it throughout the entire year.
  • Set up your class lists and teams for Lure of the Labyrinth at the very beginning of the year so that students will be able to play the game right away and whenever they like.
  • Use Lure of the Labyrinth's puzzle play to help introduce new pre-algebra content ... and when you review that content later on. But remember, always let your students play the puzzle first.
  • Be enthusiastic about Lure of the Labyrinth and talk to your kids about your experiences playing the game (and yes, that means it's a great idea to play the game yourself ... at least, a little). Let students see you playing and enjoying Lure of the Labyrinth.
  • Talk to your students about their game-playing experiences; encourage them to discuss their game strategies with their teammates, both within Lure of the Labyrinth (using the TPC) and outside Lure of the Labyrinth (in-person conversations and brainstorming sessions).
  • Schedule as many opportunities as possible for your students to play Lure of the Labyrinth - during class, after class or school and during lunch or free time.
  • Refer to Lure of the Labyrinth often during your more formal pre-algebra instruction as an example of how students can, have, and will use the math they're learning.
  • Spend time with your students discussing the game story of Lure of the Labyrinth. Use the story as the basis for creative reading and writing activities.
  • Display posters of characters and/or scenes from the game to entice students to want to enter the world of Lure of the Labyrinth and to spend time there. One way you can do that is to take screen grabs as you play the game. There are instructions for doing that in the Teacher Tips section.

Back to Digital Games in the Classroom